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An Introduction to Sabbath Lifts

We love the variety of lift requests (and the numerous configurations within each lift type), we get involved in at Stannah. Whilst the request for a Shabbat lift tends to be a few and far between, we’ve given an overview of them in this post.

What is a Shabbat lift? 

Religiously observant Orthodox Jews may not use electrical devices on the Sabbath and included in this, is the use of a lift. However, they may use a 'Sabbath lift' (or 'Shabbos lift'), a passenger lift that has been configured to stop on every floor automatically, and as such, the buttons need not be pressed, enabling them to use the lift without operating any electrical equipment.

Shabbat lifts, whilst not common in the UK can be found in synagogues or areas with a large Jewish population, most often in buildings with multiple floors.

Some basic identifiers of a Shabbat lift are:

  • Signage - A lift may be marked with a sign noting that it is configured for Shabbat observance. 
  • Travel patterns - there are several ways the operation can work (going up and down); stopping at every floor, stopping at alternate floors, or rising to the top floor and stopping while going down or at specific preset floors.
  • Delayed open/close doors - typically configured with an extended door opening time to enable plenty of time for safe exit and entry without risk of the doors automatically closing. Additionally some may sound a warning buzzer before the doors close.
  • Buttons - if the lift is only intended for use on the Sabbath then there may not be floor buttons or the floor button exists but do not function.
  • Timer - a timer to schedule automatic operation of Shabbos mode.
  • Levelling - taking care of the weighing mechanisms and enable proper operation of re-levelling.
  • Landing signals - turning off unnecessary signal lights and taking care of floor indicator lights.

What types of lifts can be configured in shabbos mode?

Passenger lifts, can be adapted for Shabbat (automatic mode), additionally, hybrid lifts like our Piccolo lift (which is a Machinery directive lift but has doors like a traditional passenger lift) can also be configured to meet the requirements. Traditional platform lifts and cabin platform lifts are not suitable due to the constant pressure operation and door configurations.

The type of configuration required will always vary by building and operation required so here at Stannah, like other lift companies we always work with the customer to establish the exact requirements for their Shabbat compliant lift.

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Can an existing lift be configured to a Sabbath mode?

There are no additional servicing requirements for a lift configured in Sabbath mode and an existing lift could be changed to Shabbat control, though this would involve electrical control panel modifications and would therefore involve some cost.

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How can Stannah help?

At Stannah we love the variety of lift requests we get involved in and the different possible configurations, including Shabbat lifts. All of our lifts comply with the latest industry standards and can be suited to meet particular requirements. If you would to find out more about how our range of products and services can improve access to your building click the button below. 

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Stannah offer a wide range of lift solutions to move people and goods. With nearly 50,000 installations across the UK and over 90,000 units on our service portfolio, we know we can help.

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